JBL MS-2 cheap and good! - Car Audio | DiyMobileAudio.com | Car Stereo Forum

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Old 11-01-2016   #1
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Default JBL MS-2 cheap and good!

I couldn't find any reviews on this thing, for that mater I've never even seen it spoken about, much less recommended. Anyway after playing with it for a few weeks I though id share my 2 cents on this device... i'm just a hobbyist, not a audio expert by any means so take it for what it worth.

So I bought this MS-2 about two years ago mainly because i was curious. They had just seem to drop way down in price so i got one for around $35. It turned out that i wasn't all that curious because it sat on the shelf in my storage room until just about 3 weeks ago when i got a new (to me) 2005 Honda Odyssey EXL. (2 way front 6.5" in doors and tweeter on dash, 6.5 in the rear) With limited free time to invest in a stereo install, it seemed like a good moment find to give the MS-2 a try. Now after playing with the MS-2 for a few weeks, I could kick myself in the ass that i didn't try this thing out 2 years ago!!

Easy as it gets to install. Fast and simple to operate. Hold it up to your face, push the setup button 3 seconds, add back some of the rear speakers (if you like) and your done, A couple of little odd quirks, but when you get it right, the stage separation, and depth, and tonal sound is VERY NICE!
Dire Straights "Love over Gold" depth and space was great. Count Basie's " A Train", instruments were all spot on in the right places, Santana's "Oye Como Va" drums, bongos, other percussion instruments sound very life like, I could hear all the details in Phoenix remix "Girlfriend" pink folds "Money" and that only hear when things are right. This thing made my old, stock system, sound better than i thought possible (at moderate volume). Kind of crazy this $35 piece of equipment was able to auto-tune so well and so fast. Makes me wonder why some other Auto tune (like the one in my 80PRS) don't work a fraction as well as the MS-2.

So some quirks that i found.

1. Finding the exact place to hold the MS-2 when tuning to get the center stage right were you want it may take a few tries.
(Holding for it in front of my nose as directed puts the stage too far right for as much depth as it has. Holding it in front of my right eye out the centered the stage perfectly to place the center out on the center of my hood.)
2. Remember to turn off the rear speakers when tuning. Also turn off all tuning on you head unit and music source. ( Not sure this would work so well with systems that have center channels or multi Speaker systems)
3. This is the biggest draw back about this thing. The Imaging button has to be cycled off, then on, EVERY TIME you Power up your system, (and sometimes even when i use my phone to switch between albums, which might just be from the cigarette lighter/ Power plug connection being a little loose interrupting the of a power supply contact...) I think you could get around most of this by powering it directly to the battery, I doubt it uses much power so i think this could be doable but id check it's power draw first.
Note that even after you do the auto tune, you have to cycle the image button for the imagining to function.

I haven't gotten around to see how it works with a stock system plus subwoofer so... I did hook it up to a amped system through a 80PRS and it sounded much better than the Prs80's auto tune by a long shoot in my van. ( I did have to turn off the 80PRS's position and EQ for the MS-2 to work.)

I was wondering how well this would work as a tool for A/B testing/comparing speakers, amps... this might be very helpful in neutralizing/equalizing some sound signatures to give more objective comparisons of equipment.

The cons are, this thing has lots of wires to deal with so it can be very cumbersome. Connections with all the wires can cause noise... (a blue tooth version would be nice).

Bottom line, there is lots of bang for the buck here. I'm sure it will be a bit Car dependent as to how will it works. If you don't appreciate a good sound stage, or you are a bass head, it may not be for you. I would recommend the MS-2 for anyone interested in SQ especially if you're on a budget. If nothing else it could be a handy tool to give a good, fast, easy, cheap, reference point to get an idea how good a sound stage can sound in your car. Before someone spends hundreds or thousands on amps, speakers... spending $40 on the MS-2 seems might be a good idea.
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Old 11-08-2016   #2
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Default Re: JBL MS-2 cheap and good!

Seems like a cool little device. Except the Power on/off thing.

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Old 11-10-2016   #3
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Default Re: JBL MS-2 cheap and good!

Yeah, for the price... I need to make time to Build some pillars and install my system but in the meantime this isn't bad at all.

I should add, i started using mine with a little inline headphone amp to get some more volume with older recordings. (Topping NX1a)

Last edited by 1fishman; 11-10-2016 at 06:00 AM..
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Old 11-10-2016   #4
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Default Re: JBL MS-2 cheap and good!

I was going to start a thread about this device as well. I agree with you. I'd recommend this to anyone who is a beginner. I have used one for a few months now on my stock system while waiting to do a full install.

The MS-2 elevates sound from your doors to your dash while doing a great job of TA for a basic 2-way system. And this only takes a few seconds.

You can also eq behind it to suit your taste.

I only wish Andy would continue coming out with products along the lines of the MS-2 and MS-8 with Audiofrog. I think products like these help people get into the hobby.
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Old 11-10-2016   #5
 
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Default Re: JBL MS-2 cheap and good!

I've seen this time to time and was curious as to how well they work. Good to know that they work well (and easy to use).
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Old 11-10-2016   #6
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Default Re: JBL MS-2 cheap and good!

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Originally Posted by rain27 View Post
I only wish Andy would continue coming out with products along the lines of the MS-2 and MS-8 with Audiofrog. I think products like these help people get into the hobby.
Yeah. Too bad Andy isn't working on anything new.


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Old 11-10-2016   #7
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Default Re: JBL MS-2 cheap and good!

I don't believe Andy has confirmed any sort of autotune feature though, or has he?
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Old 11-10-2016   #8
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Default Re: JBL MS-2 cheap and good!

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Originally Posted by rain27 View Post
I don't believe Andy has confirmed any sort of autotune feature though, or has he?
I don't think Andy has officially confirmed anything.


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Old 01-12-2017   #9
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Default Re: JBL MS-2 cheap and good!

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Yeah. Too bad Andy isn't working on anything new.



If its anything like or close to how much i love the ms-8 i will bust a nut!! Can't wait to get my hands on this baby!!


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Old 01-19-2017   #10
 
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Hey guys. This was the most recent MS-2 post I saw in search.

I have a Pioneer Single Din, basic model currently in my G35. I have a processed factory Bose currently integrated and I had to put off my full audio Build because of life situations. New girl, new place to live, new job, all in a 2 week span. So I can't continue my full build. I have a Pioneer Avh-x2800bs waiting to be installed but I'm holding off.

My current Pioneer will not play anything through USB except a USB drive for whatever reason. So the MS-2 seems logical for me at this time for the price since 3.5 is straight forward. In stock form obviously 3.5 sucks and I don't have a DSP or DAC yet.

Is the MS-2 the best under $50 alternative for better sound processing. Or has something else came out recently.
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Old 01-19-2017   #11
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Default Re: JBL MS-2 cheap and good!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swaglife81 View Post
Hey guys. This was the most recent MS-2 post I saw in search.

I have a Pioneer Single Din, basic model currently in my G35. I have a processed factory Bose currently integrated and I had to put off my full audio Build because of life situations. New girl, new place to live, new job, all in a 2 week span. So I can't continue my full build. I have a Pioneer Avh-x2800bs waiting to be installed but I'm holding off.

My current Pioneer will not play anything through USB except a USB drive for whatever reason. So the MS-2 seems logical for me at this time for the price since 3.5 is straight forward. In stock form obviously 3.5 sucks and I don't have a DSP or DAC yet.

Is the MS-2 the best under $50 alternative for better sound processing. Or has something else came out recently.
I don't think anything is remotely close for the money.

I guessing the next great thing in the future that may be comparable, is going to be a app for your phone that will auto process the sound.
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Old 01-19-2017   #12
 
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For the price I gotta try it. I wished more tech like this would come out. Great alternative. I wished I could figure why I'm getting a USB n/a on the Hu except for flash drives. I've tried 3 different androids and searched and searched but no answers other than the typical make sure mtp is on and USB debugging, all the noob answers.
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Old 01-19-2017   #13
 
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Default Re: JBL MS-2 cheap and good!

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Originally Posted by rton20s View Post
Yeah. Too bad Andy isn't working on anything new.



Man, after listening to Andy's Car at knowledge fest I'm sold. The penteo center channel upmix works really well.


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Old 01-20-2017   #14
 
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I downloaded the manual to check out what all was up with the MS-2. I see it can use RCA'S also. So since I'm on a tight budget and holding off on my build. Can I get better quality using a RCA to 3.5 aux cable rather than straight 3.5 aux with or without this unit. I never ever use 3.5 other than headphones but since my RCAs are 2 volt output that can give more Power than a 3.5 with the MS-2. Hope this makes since.
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